WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins, Angus King, and Congressman Jared Golden announced that Aroostook Mental Health Center has been awarded $1 million to combat the opioid epidemic in Northern Maine. The funding was awarded through the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (RCORP). The Maine lawmakers sent a letter to HRSA leadership to help make the case for the application earlier this year.
“The opioid crisis has devastated families and communities across Maine, claiming 504 lives in our state last year alone,” said Senators Collins, King, and Congressman Golden in a joint statement. “This vital funding will help educate Northern communities on the dangers of drug and opioid use, and provide the people of Aroostook County with the accessible services they need to combat this public health emergency. Thanks to this grant – and the hard work of Aroostook Mental Health Center – more Maine people struggling with substance use disorders will have the support they need to enter recovery.”
“Aroostook Mental Health Center is pleased to be a recipient of the 2021 HRSA RCORP Implementation grant,” said Ellen Bemis, CEO of AMHC. “The agency is looking forward to working with its community consortium to fulfill key initiatives including the reduction of stigma through education and training and an increase in access to prevention, treatment and recovery services. We are grateful to our Congressional Delegation for the support they have provided Aroostook County.”
The Rural Communities Opioid Response Program is a multi-year initiative that addresses barriers to treatment for substance use disorder, including opioid use disorder. It works toward the HHS goal of ending the opioid epidemic. RCORP is supported through HRSA’s Federal Office of Rural Health Policy and has invested $298 million across over 1,420 counties since the start of 2018.